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Album Review

The third album from Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen, E•MO•TION, is aptly titled. Jepsen is truly in love with being in love, and she lives to feel her feelings. "Oh, baby, take me to the feeling," she croons to her beau on album opener "Run Away With Me." "This is the part you've got to say all that you're feeling, feeling."

The title track delivers more of the same: "Let your feelings be revealing/ … This emotion, I feel it/This emotion, you feel it/All that we could do with this emotion."

Listening to lines bursting with so many sensations, I couldn't help but think of one-hit-wonder Morris Albert's 1975 song that told us life was little more than a dance with our "feelings … nothing more than … feelings … for all my life I'll feel it."

Positive Elements

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Sexual Content

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Pro-social Content

"All That" is filled with romantic promises of friendship and commitment ("I will be your friend/ … I'll be your lighthouse when you're lost to sea/I'll keep my light on, baby, you can always come to me/I wanna be the place you call your home/ … Oh, let me be the one/The only one"). Puppy-love eagerness saturates "Gimme Love," as Jespen confesses, "I know I said that I'm too scared to try/But still think about you, think about you/And I can't lie/I like the feeling, you make me shy." And "Warm Blood" says, "I would throw in the towel for you, boy/'Cause you lift me up when I'm falling for you."

"L.A. Hallucinations" rightly recognizes that money and material things won't fill holes in hearts ("But money makes your whole world spin/'Til everything is dizzy/ … Planes I'm hopping/Cards I'm dropping/No shop can fill me up/ … There's a little black hole in my golden cup").

"Boy Problems" finds a friend confronting an overly emotional, pessimistic woman about her attitudes toward men. "So tired of hearin' all your boy problems," the friend tells her. "It could be the perfect day/You'll just make it rain anywhere." Jepsen responds, "I know that she's right/And I should not be offended." Later, she asks the rhetorical question, "What's worse?/Losing a lover or losing your best friend?" She answers her own question, telling her latest troubling boy, "She's been giving, you've been taking." Similarly, "When I Needed You" tells the tale of a woman who has enough self-respect to cut loose a guy who isn't willing to be there for her when she really needs him.

At first, "Making the Most of the Night" sounds like it's going to be a booty-call song, with Jepsen racing recklessly across town in the middle of the night ("Baby, I'm speeding and red lights are run"). But it turns out that she's perhaps trying to rescue a guy from a suicide attempt ("I know you've had a rough time/ … Baby, take my hand, now don't you cry/I won't let you sleep, I won't let you hide/No more tears, don't waste another day/Go on and fight, don't lay down to die/Come on, you'll make it through OK/ … I love you").

Objectionable Content

"Run Away With Me" includes the suggestive lyric, "You're stuck in my head, stuck on my heart, stuck on my body, body/ … I'll be your sinner in secret." "All my kisses, say you'll miss it/And you can forget me not," Jepsen sings on the title track. And the lip-locking on "I Really Like You" could easily be a prelude to more ("Yeah, we could stay alone, you and me, in this temptation/Sipping on your lips, hanging on by a thread, baby").

Lyrics on the forthright "Gimme Love" cross over from emotional to physical with, "Gimme touch/ … Fall into me/ … 'Cause I want what I want, boy, you, it's what I need/ … You got a hold of me the whole d--n night." When that tryst doesn't happen, Jepsen regretfully sings, "I toss and turn but still I can't sleep right/I should've asked you to stay, begged you to stay." Lines on "All That" could also be heard as a reference to sex ("I wanna be the best you've ever known/Just let me in your arms").

Summary Advisory

E•MO•TION feels like a throwback to a more earnest time. It's devoid of winking irony or sarcasm, slaps at other divas or double entendres snared by naughtiness. At a time when even supposed "good girls" like Demi Lovato feel compelled to sing about diving enthusiastically into, say, a same-sex relationship, Carly Rae Jepsen comes across as downright anachronistic.

Her material's hardly innocent, mind you. There's enough suggestiveness here to show us that Jepsen has no problem translating her myriad feelings into something more sensually physical. Still, I couldn't help but think about the likes of Debbie Gibson while listening to Carly Rae pour her heart out in an array of bubblegum pop tracks pining away for a guy to love her so she can love him back. And in between a few of the sugary bubbles we even get a candy jewel or two of deeper insight.

On "Gimme Love," Jepsen tells a guy, "'Cause I want what I want," then asks, "Do you think that I want too much?" That's a great question, actually. Because it's very clear here that Carly Rae Jepsen is hungry for love, security, intimacy and acceptance. Those are good desires, the kind that can be fulfilled in a good marriage and an even better relationship with God. But in her rush to realize those desires right now, the singer throws caution to the wind, unwisely giving herself—heart, soul and body—to whoever is the latest guy she longs to believe can make all those good feelings last forever.

Plot Summary

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Episode Reviews

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